Enjoy Duke-Grown Greens at Eateries

The Duke Campus Farm recently delivered its first batch of produce to Duke eateries

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Students, faculty and staff have worked since November toward the Duke Campus Farm's first harvest.

With spring in full swing, the Duke Campus Farm is hitting its stride.Since its first workday last November, the student-employee project has continued to grow and volunteers recently had their first harvest of arugula, tatsoi and Garnet Giant  and Ruby Streak mustard greens. The collection of leafy greens was recently delivered to the Great Hall and East Campus Marketplace to be used in salad mixes.The farm, which features student, faculty and staff volunteers, is a full-scale educational farming facility that will continue to grow and sell produce to Bon Appetit, Duke's food vendor. The farm sits on a one-acre plot of land in the Duke Forest, on Friends School Road. "When I delivered the produce to Bon Appetit last week, I kept thinking to myself, `We really did it. It's all happening.' " said Emily Sloss, a 2010 Duke graduate who's working part-time as the farm's project manager. "Duke community members are eating food grown by their peers, and I couldn't be more pleased or proud."Sloss said the first delivery of greens came in at about 30 pounds. Upcoming harvests will feature romaine lettuce, radishes and snap peas. Further out, Sloss expects kale, potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon and a variety of vegetables. "It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that this farm was just a really exciting idea a year ago and now here we are serving food to the dining halls," Sloss said. "The farm has certainly lived up to the big dreams we had for it."The idea for a campus farm came from a class taught by Nicholas School of the Environment's visiting assistant professor Charlotte Clark. Sloss was among a group of five of Clark's students last year who were asked to determine the viability of a campus farm.

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Duke is the sixth university Bon Appetit has partnered with to buy food directly from a campus farm. Other schools include St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. and Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo."This student-led team has far surpassed our expectations in creating this farm and setting up a business model that hopefully assures the farm's longevity," said Sarah McGowan, marketing manager for Bon Appetit. "We are looking forward to seeing the farm continue to expand and continuing to purchase their crop."